Santa Anita’s Hollow PR Ploy

In the wake of the 26th dead racehorse (since Christmas) at Santa Anita yesterday (two broken legs), and faced with an unprecedented media-fueled national outrage, the track’s owner, The Stronach Group, announced, among other things, an immediate ban on raceday drugs.

On the move itself, the primary target, Lasix, has long been controversial within racing ranks. Some consider it a simple performance-enhancer (the diuretic causes horses to shed water weight; lighter equals faster), while others say it’s necessary to control the pulmonary bleeding that as a matter of course is caused by forcing horses to run very fast. (Really, I’m not making this up.) In any event, file this in the “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” category. The weather? The track surface? Congestion during training? Now, Lasix? C’mon, folks, wise up.

Horseracing – because (for speed) it breeds animals with big bodies but spindly legs and fragile ankles; because it trains and races them long before their bones are done growing, plates done fusing; because it compels them to run at a decidedly unnatural pace; and because it commodifies them – is inherently deadly. In other words, there’s no fixing this. It must end. Full stop.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign these petitions for California and New York.

Please call Governor Newsom’s office directly. No more equivocating. Demand (respectfully, of course) an end – a final, irrevocable end – to this madness: 916-445-2841 or email

18 Comments

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  1. I am a member of Peta but I can guarantee you that their endorsement of this bullshit at the Santa Anita race track is nothing that I agree with what-so-ever. No drugs of any kind should have ever have been allowed in the first place. You don’t need to dope up your horses if you know how to train them properly. You certainly should not be breeding these animals for body size and the thin legs – what in the hell is the matter with people in this world. Animals deserve the chance to live not be brutalized the way they are at these tracks. OMG you are all such god damn losers Peta I am totally disappointed in your organization right now as well!!!

  2. Patrick I called the Governor’s office I had a great amiable conversation with one of his assistants.
    I expressed my view that I want horse racing shut down.
    I brought up some important facts and I provided them FAXED over some documentation proving that racehorse dying and nefarious activities have been going on in California horse racing for a long time, that this is not an anomaly.
    It should be PETA leading the way, but they caved and instead of coming together they have endorsed this blatant racehorse cruelty and dying by not taking a firm stance to shut down horse racing.
    SHAME ON YOU PETA.
    Right now, with the momentum going I sincerely hope that some California residents or groups are garnering 600,000 signatures to put horse racing on the voting ballot.
    I have faith in California residents because they are animal/horse lovers who are intelligent enough to see through the smoke and mirrors.
    Get it on the ballot and then VOTE to END horse racing in California and if there’s any state that leads the way with progressive measures it’s California.
    Bob and Jill Baffert, The Stronach Group with Frank and Belinda, Tim Ritvo, Rick Arthur, Bo Derek, and all of you racehorse exploiters, dopers, killers, and apologists PACK YOUR BAGS AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF CALIFORNIA.
    It’s just a matter of time until racehorses will finally get their justice.

  3. PETA’s full statement included “RACING MUST GO THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL CIRCUS, BUT THIS WILL ELIMINATE SOME OF THE MISERY ON ITS WAY OUT.”

    • Let me just preface my comment by saying that PETA has done amazing work for animals and has been instrumental in positively impacting the lives of animals living in subservient roles to humankind.
      I would never question PETA’s loyalty to animals until now because PETA’s role could be so much more progressive and instrumental in shutting horse racing down in California.
      For example, they could garner a ton of signatures from their California supporters, couple it with the other petitions and submit it to get it onto the voting ballot.
      It seems clear that this would, essentially, end horse racing in California.
      It’s unacceptable that PETA has not gone forward with this petition route that will be the most effective way to shut down this butcher show once and for all.
      Instead, they have taken sides with one of the biggest racehorse exploiters on the planet The Stronach Group which, essentially, shuts out the racehorses – at least that the way it seems like to me.
      So aside from pressuring the D.A’s office to conduct an investigation (which is great) why do they continue to ignore this route to finally end horse racing?

      • To reinforce what Gina said, here is an excerpt from The New York Times Friday: “The stakes are high, especially in California, where the animal rights movement is particularly strong, and all it takes is 600,000 signatures on a petition to prompt a ballot initiative on whether horse racing should even exist here.”

        So, yes, if PETA put all its energy (and not insignificant resources) into a petition leading to a referendum vote, we could end horseracing in California tomorrow, figuratively speaking. Imagine that. Instead, it praises Stronach for banning Lasix – which, by the way, is not what’s killing all these racehorses. A wasted opportunity.

  4. Please read Joy Aten story about Burton Sipp, ( Race horse sol to kill buyer) Then check out 3rd race today at Turf Paradise Roman Officer bred from the mighty champion Roman Ruler new trainer Burton Sipp 387k 2016 7 starts 6 wins 1 third 2017 5 starts 4 wins 1 third back to back 75k Governor cup on West Virginia derby day Mountaineer Park. Horse of that caliber you think would have more starts but he had issues that Kevin Patterson (trainer) nursed him through. 2018 changing hands and and the greedy connections forced him to race much more double his starts rapidly declined.. Now 2019 under Burton Discard Horses Sipp gets Roman Officer ship him across country to race at lowly Turf Paradise first a few weeks ago was a disaster today rock bottom 3000.00 claimer mainly trailed through out finished 5-6 length dead last. How quickly dose Sipp dump this one Mexico is only a stone throw away that’s why he probably took him there with that in mind but thought he could probably squeeze a few more dollars out of him. What the race today you can see he wants no more of it he looks crippled shame. Were are you Old Friends wouldn’t you like a nice 8 year old gelding out of the mighty Roman Ruler that recently passed away? Save him from the fate he’s looking at not much time now!

    • Maybe you could have robert cole call old friends, that way the horse can be saved and be next to rapid redux another horse cole made tons of money from, and ran into the ground.

  5. I doubt anyone in the business will lift a finger to help Roman Office, . Scott.
    He would need to be claimed if he races again, which looks doubtful, or an offer made to buy him. Then he could be donated to Old Friends, if there is a spot for him.. I do know many people, not connected to racing, who would put the money up to acquire the horse. Once acquired, there is the transportion and a place for the horse to. go…..
    It is so obvious nobody in racing, not even those who pocketed money from his labors, gives a damn what happens to Roman Officer , or how he suffers at the hands of this Sipp character..
    He may end his days in a shocking and heartbreaking scene of extreme brutality.
    Disgusting game,. Disgusting people.

  6. I know people who have stepped up, over and over, to help horses at risk. None of these people are connected to racing and not a dime of the money spent comes from racing.

    While it is always good and satisfying to help these few horses it is a drop in the ocean compared to the huge numbers waiting in vain for help that never comes.

    The only way to put an end to this outrage is to put a stop the root cause..
    End racing. Period !!

    • Rose, thanks so much for your compassion and for all you do for racehorses.
      I’m so grateful that you have been instrumental in saving some of the racehorses including funds and homes.
      When I owned my farm we rescued and re-homed 22, but I no longer have proper facilities otherwise I would be doing it full-time because I enjoy it so much.
      Horses are a lifelong passion of mine and that will never change.
      I do agree that the only way to stop this public butcher shop is to shut it down.

  7. SHUT DOWN this depravedly cruel, unconscionable industry of HORSE-RACING — Please know that PETA has a reputation for KILLING animals — killing cats & dogs — WHY, you ask? — Peta replies : because they are NOT a shelter; thus, what else are they to do with animals they collect on their travels! — pay a visit to NKAC — NO-KILL ADVOCACY CENTER headed by Nathan Winograd — there’s much evidence that PETA kills animals AND they readily admit to these murders — I ask you this — what KIND of organization sets up to “protect” animals, actually kills them? — I see a MAJOR flaw in this thinking — rational people agree — no matter what “good” you claim they do, PETA is not FOR animals — PETA is AGAINST animals — this is FACT!

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